What is Your Heater Trying to Tell You? Diagnosing Heating System Odors

What is Your Heater Trying to Tell You? Diagnosing Heating System OdorsMost of the time, your home heating system works without much involvement from you. When things are going wrong, however, you may notice the system giving off unusual odors. Many of these odors have a harmless cause, but others may require urgent action. Here is a short list of some of those heating system odors and what to do about them:

Rotten Egg Odor

The smell of rotten eggs coming from your heating system can indicate a serious problem. It usually means a natural gas leak, which can lead to fires or explosions. Natural gas is odorless, but gas companies add a chemical that gives it a distinctive odor. If this smell is mild, you may just need to wait a bit for the odor to dissipate. If it is strong, shut off the system if possible, open windows in your home, and leave immediately. Call your gas company or fire department for help.

Dusty burning odor

When a heating system first starts in the fall, it may burn off dust that has settled on the heat exchanger or other components. This can produce a dusty, burning smell. It it’s caused by dust, it should go away after the heating system has cycled on and off a few times. If it continues, call your HVAC professional.

Electrical odor

Electrical or ozone-like odors can indicate a problem with electrical components. The smell could be caused by overheating wiring or motors. It may also be the result of a clogged air filter. Change the filter and see if that stops the odors. If not, call your HVAC service pro.

Carrion odor

Small animals such as mice could get into the system or the ductwork and die. This would produce a distinctive rotting odor. Turn the furnace off, find the carcass, and remove it, or call your HVAC pro for a system cleaning.

Customers in Middletown and the surrounding communities can rely on C. R. Wolfe Heating and Air Conditioning for expert HVAC sales, service, installation, and maintenance. Contact us today for more information on heating system odors and what they mean.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating odors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 845-367-4482. 

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